Many Charges Dropped in Girls Gone Wild Case

By: News Herald
By: News Herald

Prosecutors in Panama City have dropped all but eight of the dozens of felony charges once faced by producers of the Girls Gone Wild video series due to a lack of evidence.

Assistant State Attorney Mark Graham says he can support only second-degree felony charges of using children in sexual performances in his case against producer Joseph Francis, Francis' companies and employees.

The remaining charges could be dropped at a January 3 hearing when a judge considers a defense motion to dismiss all charges in the case. Trial is set for next year.

Francis was arrested in 2003 and charged with more than 40 criminal offenses, including racketeering. He is accused of participating in the filming of two 17-year-old girls in sexual situations at a Panama City Beach motel.

A federal civil lawsuit against Francis filed by the two women filmed is pending.

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